PETALING JAYA: Whereas Menu Rahmah is being lauded as a money-saving initiative, consultants say the meals provided should even be nutritionally balanced and wholesome.
A few of the dishes usually are not balanced and don’t observe the Well being Ministry’s “suku-suku separuh” (quarter-quarter-half) or 3S dietary advice, says Annie Yee, senior nutritionist and well being educator on the Penang Adventist Hospital’s Group Well being Division.
The 3S components requires 1 / 4 of a meal being carbohydrates, like rice and cereal, 1 / 4 being protein or meat, and half being fruits or greens.
Whereas lauding the Menu Rahmah as a outstanding initiative, Yee mentioned there have been some downsides.
“The vegetable serving measurement remains to be very small. In case you are to look into the 3S, the vegetable portion is method much less. Nevertheless, the carbohydrate portion is significantly larger,” she mentioned.
As Malaysia has a excessive price of weight problems, she mentioned it was necessary to cut back the consumption of carbohydrates and improve the portion of greens.
“As much as 95% of Malaysians don’t eat satisfactory parts of greens.
“Menu Rahmah could be improved if a serving of fruits is included, resembling a slice of papaya, honeydew or a chunk of guava,” she added.
She mentioned a menu that includes meals that fulfil dietary necessities may very well be expanded to varsities, particularly major faculties.
“We have to educate them on the right portion of consuming,” she mentioned.
Guide dietitian Ng Kar Foo mentioned that though some meals didn’t comply absolutely with the 3S wholesome plate mannequin, the composition was not far off the requirement.
“The intention of this initiative is to assist the hardcore poor. The worth of the meal is under RM5 and the meal is alleged to include rice, vegetable and a meat dish.
“Though it doesn’t comply totally with the wholesome plate mannequin, it’s adequate to assist dwelling.
“It doesn’t make sense to inform folks with low financial standing to eat healthful meals made up of vegatables and fruits, wholegrains and good high quality protein.
“Their finances merely doesn’t permit it. Therefore, vitamin recommendation needs to be smart,” he added.
He urged that operators providing Menu Rahmah construct a menu with the fundamental dietary requirement resembling grains or different grain merchandise, native greens, lean protein dishes, and ideally with seasonal fruits.
He mentioned they need to additionally use wholesome cooking strategies and adjust to secure meals dealing with pointers.
They’ll additionally assist the native business by sourcing produce from smallholders or rising their very own.
He additionally urged operators work with a dietitian or nutritionist to plan a menu with a restricted finances.